AA Random Thoughts/East Playoff Scenarios

The teams in Class AA.

AA Random Thoughts/East Playoff Scenarios

Postby heimer » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:28 pm

East playoff scenarios:

In with seed:

Fargo Shanley--in as #1
Lisbon--in as #2

In:

Grafton--in. #3 with a win over Shanley or a Valley City loss to Wahpeton. #4 with a loss to Shanley and Valley City win over Wahpeton

Control:

Valley City--in with a win over Wahpeton. #4 with a win and a Grafton win over Shanley. #3 with a win and a Shanley win over Grafton.

Needs help:

Central Cass--in with a win over Oak Grove a Wahpeton win over Valley City.

Wahpeton--in with a win over Valley City and an Oak Grove win over Central Cass

Randon thoughts about AA:

In general, this is a matchup division. Shanley is in an elite class, and there are a few teams that are struggling, but the body of teams will win and lose depending on matchups and performance.

That being said, Lisbon has shown the ability to win the big game this season, knocking off good Central Cass, Grafton, and Valley City teams. Devils Lake is probably just as good, but their body of work is perhaps an eyelash short of Lisbon with their loss at Trinity.

Trinity, Carrington, Valley City, Central Cass, and St. Marys and Grafton are in the next tier. Trinity very inconsistent, and seems to make a case for themselves on their win over Devils Lake. A struggle with TMCHS and getting pummelled for a half at home by Carrington doesn't impress.

Valley City won the two games they should have, one that was a toss-up, one over an injury-ridden Grafton team, and lost a game they should likely have won at home against Central Cass. They can take put on some separation from this group with a playoff-clinching win over Wahpeton, but they have not yet won a home game this year.

Central Cass is a real mystery. They were in the second tier till last night. Kindred is better than many give them credit for, but that was a game Central Cass had to have, especially after their big win over Valley City a week before.

Carrington is a quality team, but they need to finish games. Could have had Valley City in week two. Couldn't put Trinity away in Dickinson. A win over Devils Lake, and they become scary. Gotta show some balance offensively. A running game can beat a lot of teams. Their running game is not good enough to win the state title.

St. Mary's and Grafton belong in the second tier, but with the key injuries they have suffered, we will have to see how they respond. They are in the third tier till they win another solid game.

I hope next year's pollsters keep in mind that Grafton and Kindred are programs on the rise. Good coaching, a core of juniors, with Grafton returning 10 offensive starters. If he chooses to, Jake Hanson will play quarterback on Saturdays, and I'll take Adam J. on my college team in the former DAC or perhaps DII any day. Give Kindred a lot of credit for playing through those key suspensions on every snap this year. The east should have been a seven-horse race.

Devils Lake belongs at AA. The state is making a mistake taking them up a class. Yes, they have played for a state title twice in three years. They may again this year. But in year two they were ousted in the first round of the playoffs, with two teams that are now 1-A moving on. Their lone loss this season is to a team that opts up to AA.

Finally, AA is better than A. Sure, the top teams in AA could compete well in A. At the AA level, you need to be more balanced. The defensive athleticism at the AA level is better than the A level on average. Not at the top, perhaps, but on average. You can win a lot of games at A just running teams into the ground. You have to be very good at it at this level. There is no killing teams with an I formation at the AA level. You need some option, some screens. I've seen a lot of A titles won by 17 play drives that just involve a fullback and tailback. That just is not a recipe for success at the AA level.
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Re: AA Random Thoughts/East Playoff Scenarios

Postby MoSiouxFan » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:16 pm

Good analysis.
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Re: AA Random Thoughts/East Playoff Scenarios

Postby Bisonguy06 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:53 pm

Heimer... pretty strong analysis of AA football this year.

The one thing I have noticed with AA is that injuries loom large. There's a pretty big gap between the starter and his backup when the starter goes down, in most cases. That would account for a lot of the inconsistent play from some of the teams. Depth is the #1 difference between AAA and AA, in my opinion.

I agree with you that sending Devils Lake to AAA football is less than ideal. I have seen them in action. They are a fit in AA. However I can't call it a mistake because I don't really like any of the alternatives, either.

With 14 teams in AAA, Devils Lake has to move up.
With 13 teams, you have a pretty natural grouping of high schools in terms of enrollment, but you have an odd number and scheduling is a nightmare.
With 12 teams, Dickinson has to move down to AA football
With 11 teams, Dickinson and Jamestown move down and we still have a scheduling nightmare.
With 10 teams, Williston, Jamestown and Dickinson all move down. Williston is near 500 male students and growing. Scheduling is a breeze, but travel isn't.

We're one year removed from a pretty heated debate on this. In your opinion, if 14 is not the right size for AAA, what is?

With the oil boom out west, it doesn't seem like the timing is right to look at moving Williston, Jamestown and Dickinson downward. Williston could very possibly grow into the top ten in enrollment if the trend continues.

I would at least entertain the idea of a 13 team AAA and see what could be worked out in terms of a schedule.

Your thoughts?
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Re: AA Random Thoughts/East Playoff Scenarios

Postby heimer » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:21 pm

My thoughts are still the same. 10 AAA, 10 AA, split the rest as you see fit.

Based on the new plan that goes into effect for 2011:

AAA: Minot (1098), Bismarck High, Bismarck Century, Mandan, GF Central, GF Red River, Fargo South, Fargo North, West Fargo, Davies (499)

AA: Williston (487), Jamestown, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Wahpeton, Belcourt, Valley City, Grafton, Shanley, St. Marys (155)

Both divisions: Everyone plays everyone. Top 6 to playoffs. Week one: 6 at 3, 5 at 4, 1 and 2 byes. Week two: 6-3 winner at 2, 5-4 winner at 1. Week three: state title.

32 in A (with largest enrollment, smallest enrollment of group in parenthesis), including former AA Beulah, Carrington, Minot Ryan, Bottineau, Rugby, Trinity, Central Cass, Lisbon, Griggs-Barnes, and Kindred (133, largest of the group). The next 22 would include Larimore, Langdon, Watford City, Enderlin-Maple Valley, Hatton-Northwood, Stanley, Lewis and Clark, Williams County, Hazen, May-Port-C-G, Oakes, Northern Cass, Westhope-Newberg-Glenberg, Midway-Minto, Des Lacs-Burlington, New Town, Garrison-Max, Washburn-Wilton-Wing, New Salem-Glen Ullin, Killdeer, Oak Grove (77), Richardton-Taylor-Hebron.

Regions
1 (SE): Central Cass, Lisbon, Griggs-Barnes County, Kindred, Enderlin-Maple Valley, Oakes, Oak Grove, Northern Cass

2 (NE): Rugby, Bottineau, Carrington, Larimore, Langdon, Midway-Minto, Hatton-Northwood, May-Port-C-G

3 (NW): Williams County, Stanley, Lewis and Clark, Westhope-Newberg-Glenburn, Garrison-Max, Des Lacs-Burlington, Minot Ryan, New Town

4 (SW): Beulah, Trinity, Watford City, Hazen, Washburn-Wilton-Wing, New Salem-Glen Ullin, Richardton-Taylor-Hebron, Killdeer.

Should Harvey and Velva continue to opt up, as they have chosen to again in 2011, Oak Grove and Richardton-Taylor-Hebron would be moved down. Harvey would be added to Region 2, and MPCG would be moved to Region 1, replacing Oak Grove. Velva would be moved to Region 3, with Garrison-Max moving to Region 4, replacing Richardton-Taylor-Hebron.

Playoffs: same as current system

9-man is whats left.

Yes, there are some long road trips. This is football, you only have to make that trip every other year. Yes, there are only 10 teams in the top classes. I'll say again, a title by Bismarck or West Fargo is not enhanced because there was a Devils Lake or a Jamestown to kick around in their class. A title by Shanley or Devils Lake at AA is not enhanced because there was an Oak Grove or Kindred to kick around, although the latter doesn't happen often.

I think the classes have schools that look very similar to one another, the scheduling is easily worked out, the playoff system is clear. I just don't see a downside.
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Re: AA Random Thoughts/East Playoff Scenarios

Postby SBd » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:45 pm

[quote="heimer"]

(I hope next year's pollsters keep in mind that Grafton and Kindred are programs on the rise. Good coaching, a core of juniors, with Grafton returning 10 offensive starters. If he chooses to, Jake Hanson will play quarterback on Saturdays, and I'll take Adam J. on my college team in the former DAC or perhaps DII any day.)


I agree with you somewhat heimer. Grafton only loses 1 player for next year but they still dont have a lot of numbers. I believe they have 25 players and have lost 6 of those to injury. Adam J. and Hanson are studs. Hanson threw for 360 against VC and Adam J. had 3 td's, there line has taken a hit and Hanson was getting hit all night.
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Re: AA Random Thoughts/East Playoff Scenarios

Postby Bisonguy06 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:49 pm

I prefer 13 over 10, but that's reasonable. Not interested in a long, drawn out argument this year. What's done is done, and Devils Lake faces two tough years of AAA football. We'll re-evaluate after that.

My biggest concern in your plan here is that both Williston and Fargo Davies are bound to grow rapidly, and one of the two would have to play 2A football. I assume you would support the same plan down the road even if Davies ended up in 2A?
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Re: AA Random Thoughts/East Playoff Scenarios

Postby heimer » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:57 pm

Speculation: Should Williston grow to a point that they would displace Davies, Davies would likely opt up to hang with the other Fargo Schools. Poses a problem, but a more equitable one.

Speculation based on fact: West Fargo splitting again would change the dynamic of the argument, so planning for every scenario is likely time partially well spent, and partially wasted.

Answer to your question: Either Davies or Williston will be AA. I'll take that.
Last edited by heimer on Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AA Random Thoughts/East Playoff Scenarios

Postby Bisonguy06 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:00 pm

I do look forward to a solution that would allow Devils Lake back into 2A football. A second West Fargo school would probably be the best solution of them all.
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Re: AA Random Thoughts/East Playoff Scenarios

Postby EDC » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:27 pm

I don't see anybody beating Shanley if they make it to the championship game in a dome. The only chance a team would have beating Shanley this year is bad weather that would slow down their passing game. I would not be surprised to see Lisbon and Shanley in the championship game. Lisbon has an incredible running game that even Shanley had trouble stopping. If I understand it correctly, Lisbon and Devils Lake would play in a semi final game. Now that would be the game to see.
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Re: AA Random Thoughts/East Playoff Scenarios

Postby vikesfan » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:19 am

It would be fun to see Lisbon's running game up against Carrington's running game. Carrington has a good defense.
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Re: AA Random Thoughts/East Playoff Scenarios

Postby Run4Fun2009 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:13 pm

vikesfan wrote:It would be fun to see Lisbon's running game up against Carrington's running game. Carrington has a good defense.


so does Lisbon
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Re: AA Random Thoughts/East Playoff Scenarios

Postby Indy5 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:31 pm

Run4Fun2009 wrote:
vikesfan wrote:It would be fun to see Lisbon's running game up against Carrington's running game. Carrington has a good defense.


so does Lisbon

Does Lisbon have some special kind running offense like the double wing or wishbone or something? Or do they just pound they ball in normal pro sets. I know they had a really good back last year as well.
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Re: AA Random Thoughts/East Playoff Scenarios

Postby Run4Fun2009 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:27 pm

EAST
#1 Shanley
#2 Lisbon
#3 Valley City
#4 Grafton
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Re: AA Random Thoughts/East Playoff Scenarios

Postby johnson11111 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:13 am

all I can say is good luck to Devils Lake next year! AAA here we come!
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